Holly Holm Shifts to MMA

By Ted Sares on April 17, 2013
Holly Holm Shifts to MMA
The idea of a Holly Holm-Ronda Rousey matchup is an intriguing one to say the least.


“Rhonda Rousey is a star. People are still buzzing about a fight between Meisha Tate and Cat Zangano. MMA is where the attention and money are. Holm saw that female boxing is dead in this country and will now join the UFC and become famous. Can you blame her?”—Boxing News 24 poster named Daniel

After her scheduled match with Gary, Indiana’s “Merciless” Mary McGee (20-1) on May 11 in Albuquerque, Holly Holm will pursue her career in MMA. In Holly’s last MMA bout in February 2013, she TKO’d Katie Merrill.

The 31-year-old Holm’s stated goal is to challenge UFC star Ronda Rousey to determine who “The Baddest Woman on the Planet” is. Her promoter Lenny Fresquez says, “Holly’s problem in MMA, as in boxing, is that her list of competitive opponents is very short.”

At a media luncheon, Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” said, “Since I first started fighting, it became my passion…I decided a long time ago, after quitting school to fight, that I would box as long as my heart was in it. One of my biggest and controversial fights was against Christy Martin. Then, it was Mary Jo Sanders. There’s always a champion. This is my own journey. Every one of my fights has helped me to believe in myself.

“When we were deciding which way to go with my future, my trainer, Mike Winkeljohn, said it best, ‘You want to climb a new mountain.’ This thing has created a new spark in me and I’m following my heart. I wish much success to Cecilia [Braekhus] but not fighting her does not, by any means, define my boxing career. I know there’s a lot of talk about that but what does that say about all the women I’ve already fought? I’ve never been a paper champion. I’ve grown so much every step of the way. I’m in this fight, on May 11,100 percent; I’m not distracted. This is obviously an emotional, spiritual and physical journey and I’m so grateful for the people who have supported me. I just want to fight where my passion is. I train in an MMA gym and always have.”

Holm’s list of opponents has just about included everyone, including Martin, France’s Anne Sophie Mathis (twice), Mary Jo Sanders (twice), Mia St. John, England’s Jane Couch, Chevelle Hallback (twice), Jamie Clampitt, Australia’s Diana Prazak, and Brazil’s Duda Yankovich. Holm is an 18-time, three-division world champion in boxing and has a 32-2-3 boxing record. She is 3-0 in MMA bouts.Her record against world champions is a remarkable 14-1-1. In short, she has little more to prove in a boxing ring.

An international mega fight with WBA, WBC and WBO Female Welterweight Champion Braekhus (22-0, 6 KOs) never came off as the Norwegian (by way of Colombia) “First Lady” opted to fight a badly shopworn 45-year-old Mia St. John whom she crushed in three rounds on April 13. With Holly out of the way, Braekhus will likely dominate Women’s Boxing.

But all of this suggests that high profile Women’s Boxing in the US has deferred to some degree to other countries like Argentina with Jessica Bopp. Though the US still has many fine women boxers and the competition is still lively, the days of Christy Martin, Ann Wolfe and Laila Ali are long gone. Perhaps this had something to do with Holm’s switch

Another Boxing 24 poster summed it up nicely as follows:

“Back in the late 1990s when the sport had its ‘bloom,’ you had fighters that represented parts of the ‘package,’ but not the ‘entire package.’ Mia St. John was the ‘brave’ one… She was the Playboy bunny that dared to step into the ring! She didn’t have a lot of power or skill, but she has a HUGE degree of heart. A lot of people gawked at St. John, but she proved that sex would always sell when it came to marketing. Christy Martin was the one with power and skill, but she wasn’t the ‘model.’ Not only that, some losses that she had set her back a bit (she was once beaten by Mia St. John). Laila Ali (primarily) lived off of her father’s legacy. She was talented, but she was always known as ‘Muhammad Ali’s daughter that boxed.’ Lucia Rjiker proved that international fan bases were more supportive than ones based in the U.S. when it came to women’s boxing. Nowadays, you got some women that aren’t only beautiful, but they got some skill as well! Boxers like Ava Knight-Salicka, Kaliesha West, Yesica Yolanda Bopp, and Christina Hammer.”

The idea of a Holm-Rousey matchup is an intriguing one to say the least, that is, if Women’s combat sports are your cup of tea.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

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  1. Ted 05:55am, 05/12/2013

    Adios Holly and great win last night.

  2. Ted 10:19am, 04/20/2013

    Tara, she better stay clear of Rousey.

  3. Tara Coogan 10:09am, 04/20/2013

    I too am disappointed that Holly is leaving boxing. She has a strong ring presence and would love to see her fight Braekhus.before going totally MMA.

    I feel that in MMA she will have to totally stay off the mat to succeed.  I say this as a boxer and an MMA fighter.

  4. Ted 01:07pm, 04/18/2013

    boxingjones, spot on

  5. boxingjones 10:44pm, 04/17/2013

    If there was any doubt the the center of the women’s boxing universe is elsewhere other than the United States, the defection of Holly Holm to MMA places the final nail in that coffin. As a huge fan of women’s combat sports, even the MMA has a foreign flavor with four of the top ten ranked female fighters hailing from parts not red, white, and blue.

  6. Ted 08:30pm, 04/17/2013

    It does

  7. Tex Hassler 05:53pm, 04/17/2013

    I guess her move has to do with a possible big pay day.

  8. kid vegas 06:49am, 04/17/2013

    Too bad.The fight with the Norwegian should be had before she goes to UFC, MMA, or whatever that stuff is.

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